UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Serbia And Kosovo

The monuments and wall paintings in Kosovo's monasteries have been classified as in danger by UNESCO.


Serbia is a small country situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe with a unitary semi-presidential governance. The total population is 7,041,599 people, and its capital is Belgrade which is also the largest city in the country. The Serbs are the majority ethnic group making up 83.3% of the total population with others being the Hungarians (3.5%), Roma (2.1%), and Bosniaks (2%). 29.1% of the country is forest covered, and it has a rich biodiversity despite her small size. Serbia is not a mass tourist destination. However, there is a diverse range of tourist attractions with mountains and spas being the major attractions. There are various sites inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage sites which will be discussed in this article.

UNESCO Heritage sites in Serbia

Medieval Monuments In Kosovo

The Medieval Monuments consist of four Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries built in the 13th and 14th centuries. The four edifices of the site reflect the high points of the Byzantine-Romanesque religious culture with its distinct style of mural wall painting. The site was extended in 2006 to include the following; Decani monastery, Patriarchate of Pec Monastery, Our Lady of Ljevis, and the Garcinia Monastery. In the same year, UNESCO inscribed the site on the world heritage list in danger citing difficulties in the management of the site due to the region's political instability. The inclusion of the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo did not go down well with Serbia as they wanted the name “Serbia” to appear. Given that no monument in the UNESCO’s list has a national designation, the suggested name’ “Serbian Medieval Monuments in Kosovo” was rejected.

Palace Of Galerius And Gamzigrad-Romuliana

The palace of Galerius was commissioned by Emperor Caius Valerius Galerius Maximiaminus in the 3rd century with a compound that also serves the memorial complex of Gamzigrad-Romuliana. The emperor named the palace after his mother, Felix Rouliana. The temple has strong fortification which shows that the tetrarchy Emperors were all senior military leaders. The visual connection between the palace and the memorial complex where the emperor and his mother usually rested, are unique. The entire building is a particular affirmation of the Roman construction tradition filled with the intellectual program of the Second Tetrarchy and Gallerius himself. Very few excavations have been done to date on the site and no attempt to reconstruct it. There has been no plan also to reconstruct the site other than what is needed to help keep the preservation. Various acts and legislation have been put in place to protect the property.

Stari Ras And Sopocani

Human life in this area dates back to the Neolithic Era with Archeological findings of fortified structures dated from the 4th century being found on the site. Stari Ras is loosely translated to mean the old Ras and is a medieval fortress located near the modern city of Novi Pazar. Stari Ras was located at the crossroads of trade routes which was a favorable position for its growth. However, it was deserted in the 13th century in unclear circumstances. The fortress today lies in unenclosed and unprotected ruins with plans underway to reconstruct it. The sopocani monastery is located in the vicinity of Stari Ras. Then monastery was built in the 12th-century s as an endowment of King Stefan Uros which would later serve as his burial place. The sopocani frescoes still shine with radiant beauty –surviving more than two centuries. The site was restored in the 20th Century and it occupied by a thriving brotherhood of dedicated monks.

Studenica Monastery

It was established in the 12th century, and the largest is the Orthodox monastery in Serbia. It consists of two major monuments; the Church of the Virgin and the Church of the King with both built of white marble. They are well preserved and signify an outstanding model of a Serbian Orthodox Church model. The church is the owner of the site which is also under the protection of Special Purpose Spatial Plan o the Goulja Natural Park. The monastery has remained almost intact with neither modification nor reconstruction taking place.

Conservation Of The World Heritage Sites

Although many historical sites were destroyed during the Kosovo war, the sites that remained are well preserved and represent the history of Kosovo and Serbia.The UNESCO and the respective governments have invested in conservation efforts to preserve the sites.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Serbia And Kosovo

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Serbia and Kosovo Year of Inscription; Type
Medieval Monuments and Wall Paintings in Kosovo 2004; Cultural Site in Danger
Palace of Galerius and Gamzigrad-Romuliana 2007; Cultural
Stari Ras and Sopoćani 1979; Cultural
Stećci Medieval Tombstones and Graveyards 2016; Cultural
Studenica Monastery 1986; Cultural


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